District 's Lynne Thigpen dies

Lynne Thigpen, who played computer expert Ella Farmer on CBS drama The
, passed away suddenly late Wednesday night in Los Angeles. She was

Production on The District has been suspended.

Thigpen -- who garnered a Tony Award (An American Daughter), two Obie
Awards (Jar the Floor and Boesman and Lena) and a Los Angeles
Critics Award (Fences) for her stage performances -- brought her talents to
television on such series as Law & Order, L.A. Law and
Thirtysomething. But younger viewers may best remember her as the chief
on PBS' colorful tween programs, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?
and Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?.

"We are all in shock and in mourning," said John Wirth, executive producer of
The District. "The beauty, compassion and talent that you saw on the
screen was not just superb acting. It was the very essence of this wonderful
woman. We will miss her terribly."

Thigpen's other television credits include Hallmark Hall of Fame
presentations Night Ride Home and The Boys Next Door, among

She was also in feature films The Insider, Shaft, Lean
on Me
, Tootsie and the forthcoming Anger Management with Jack
Nicholson and Adam Sandler.